|Secretary Sonny Perdue at Minnesota FarmFest|
(DTN/The Progressive Farmer photo by Chris Clayton)
Brian Thalmann, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, criticized some of Trump's tweets that farmers are doing "great" again, Bloomberg News reports. "We are not starting to do great again . . . We are starting to go down very quickly," Thalman said. Trump hinted at more aid in a tweet on Tuesday, but Perdue said no further trade aid is being planned. Many applauded when Democratic state Rep. Angie Craig said trade aid was not a substitute for a trade strategy.
Perdue said America's farmers would regain their market share in China, but a resolution must be based on "reciprocal trade" and that it's China's responsibility to make some concessions, Bloomberg News reports. However, Joel Schreurs, a Minnesota farmer and a director of the American Soybean Association, told Perdue he doesn't think the hardline approach is working with China, and soybean farmers are losing a long-term relationship with China in the meantime, Clayton reports. "I just don't see that market coming back quickly," Schreurs said. "It's not going to be a six-month thing."
UPDATE, Aug. 15: Mary Papenfuss reports for Huffington Post, "Perdue hit back at the complaints with his joke: 'What do you call two farmers in a basement? A whine cellar.' As he pounded the table in mirth, some of the thousands of farmers at the event laughed nervously — which was followed by boos." Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish told her, “It was definitely not an appropriate thing to say,” “It was very insensitive. It took everyone by surprise. He doesn’t understand what farmers are dealing with, and he’s the head of the Department of Agriculture. He’s supposed to be working for farmers.”